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Does It Make Sense to Buy Club Carlson Points with a 30% Bonus?

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Now through October 15, 2015, Club Carlson is offering 30% more points when you purchase between 10,000 and 40,000 Gold points.


Carlson is the loyalty program of brands including Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Park Plaza, among others. In the past, Club Carlson has outdone some of the bigger players by offering aggressive points and elite status promotions, introducing competitive credit cards and expanding the slate of premium properties. But recent devaluations — removing the bonus night award benefit on the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa and Club Carlson Business Rewards Visaand then changing categories on over 300 properties — have removed a good deal of the program’s value. Do offers like this make up for it? Let’s take a look.

Bonus points aren’t applied to Carlson’s yearly 40,000 point purchase maximum, which means you can get a total of 52,000 points for the price of 40,000, which costs $280. Maxing out the promotion by purchasing 40,000 points for $280 means you’ll be paying about 0.54 cents per point with the 12,000-point bonus factored in. We value Club Carlson points at 0.4 cents apiece, so this just doesn’t make sense unless you need points for a specific redemption.

But even those are hard to come by, as TPG Contributor Nick Ewen pointed out in his two-part series: 6 Low-Level Club Carlson Hotels that Make for Awesome Awards and 7 Club Carlson Hotels that Make for Awesome Award Redemptions. As Nick says, “Shame on Club Carlson for so quickly removing a ton of value from its program.”

Are you a Club Carlson member? Share your thoughts on the loyalty program in the comments below!

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  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
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Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 0% Excellent Credit